Knights of the Chalice

Discussion in 'Now Playing' started by Waterd103, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

  2. Milskidasith

    Milskidasith Active Member

    Playing the demo, it's pretty much D&D, except that it's ridiculously hard.

    It's not even that the encounters themselves are necessarily too difficult, but certain encounters (the second encounter in the cave, the falling stairs second encounter) are set up so you get KOed without a chance to do anything. When the encounter hinges on whether or not a certain enemy uses a wand (high chance of outright KOing your mages), it's not exactly fun. The second floor of the dungeon proper is even worse; I've yet to even figure out how the hell I'm supposed to survive an encounter of that magnitude, besides maybe doing everything else first so that I can level up a bit.

    EDIT: The interface is indeed pretty great, though, besides that occasionally you have to go through the menus again if you read the help dialogue, rather than back to what page you were on.

    EDIT X2: Just played more, assuming you know the proper order to do the demo encounters in, it gets easy. If you don't, well, you're screwed at quite a few locations.
  3. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I played the main game in ironman mode and finish the the game in the 3rd try, there is a post about it in the forums.
    Early on is the hardest part of the game, But i have no idea how the demo is.

    The trick is that any kind of crafting is 100% broken in the game. And without crafting the game seems impossible, but with crafting is just a cakewalk, there is no middle point it seems.
  4. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    Whats Knights of the chalice?
    An CRPG, I would call Tactical RPG, despite it doesnt fit exactly the description for many. Its an RPG where combat is a big part, and the combat is Turn based and tactical.
    You have 4 chars, and it's based on 3.5 D&D rules.

    How the game plays out?
    You create 4 Chars, and you are send in quest after quest, that interconnect in a plot, where your decisions mostly come into combat and how you build up your chars. There are some dialog and puzzle options but are minimal. (Sadly imo)

    What are the good things about the game?
    The main thing of the game imo, is the interface. Its the best interface of any RPG ever imo, even superior to temple of elemental evil. (Ok Most JRPGS have less flaws in the interface, but is easy to do when your only option is to press X)
    It takes the already excellent interface of Darksun: Shattered lands, and improves it. I love when somebody takes something good, recognizes how good it is, and just improves it.
    I would wish to play all RPGS, in this interface, You just like to play because how good it is.
    Everthing is clear on the screen, you know whats going on, its easy to do what you want, its easy to know the reason of why whatever happened, did happen.
    The low resolution of the game water things down, and there are some unexplained things, but overall is just excellent.
    Talking about unexplained things, the game has a A+ system of hyperlinks as HELP, if you want to know about something, right click on it and the explanation with more hyperlinks comes up.
    I love it.
    The only Thing i find annoying is when the game do a lot of the same, like chars with a lot of attacks or when you cast heal with wand on your char 10 times, you have to wait for the animation to end and lategame the game gets slowed down because of it.

    I want to comment how much I love that you cant prebuff in this game. Something common in most Tactical RPG actually. But some still have prebuff (you know where you have to cast 50 spells after every rest), and its annoying.

    The interface has a few little things that annoy me and could be improved but are quite minor.

    What are the bad things about this game?
    Well you cant make a game just of interface. And the game isnt much more than that to be honest.
    The story is poor, and whatever poor is it, its terrible presented. There are some funny gags. I dont even mind a poor story if its well told or well presented, but thats not the case .
    You will not care much of whats going, eventually I just didnt know what I was doing except fighting because the story makes its best effort for you to not care.
    There are no chars to speak off, if you get knowledge of any char, you are killing it.

    The Atmosphere in general is ok, I like the catchy music, and the sounds are ok. The Graphics work well, but you wont be playing the game for the graphics definitely. I kind of enjoy the graphics, specially the spell effects

    The gameplay is kind of on the weak side. Slightly better than most RPG, which in my book is actually kind of bad. Most rpgs's Gameplay is poor. This is slightly better, but does not end in good.

    The challenge ends messed up. There are two kind of challenges (beside party building), the BIG fights which are ok done, even if it lacks some interesting situation imo, and the draining grinding where you are supposed to get drained of resources. This one, if properly done would be amazing, It ends failing catastrophically.
    Some places you get access to fireplaces to rest all the time so you cant get drained of resources. In some places, the wall behind you closes and you dont get a fireplace to rest for a while. It all seems a moot point because with craft wand and scribe scrolls, resting is unnecessary during the WHOLE GAME.
    I could try to play with imposed rules of none scribe scrolls and one rest per fireplace.
    But is job of the designer to create the game, not of the player I think.

    Also the non big fights are kind of uninspired, they are more of "2 More giant spiders" Kind of thing that an interesting battle with different types of threats.

    With the lack of Party formation only 4 chars, and the lack of variety in scenarios (unlike some other tactical RPG where your team or the enemies or the scenario change A LOT between fights, see Final fantasy tactics), make even the big fights just ok, the number of options is still narrow, and the threats are mostly in the same kind of threats.

    The D&D with its Erratic behavior(a Saving throw may mean the difference between a caracter dying from full life to Zero), its not good to setup good scenarios tough. Still some tools can be used in place, which the game does not.

    Conclusion:
    Its an A+ Interface without game. You just want to play it because of it, but It just have the empty hole of a game in first place. With no Story and average gameplay you wonder whats the point. Sometimes just being able to play whatever it is so well its the point.

    The gameplay is no worse than the average RPG actually, Including popular current games like Dragon age or Old games like Icewind dale.
    The problem is that those game gameplay is in my opinion bad.
    So I can see how people may Like or enjoy this game.
    Im a little more exigent and few RPGS make the cut on my list of good gameplay. Knights of the chalice doesnt, But the Interface hypnotized me enough that I did 3 runs and maybe i will do a 4th.
    Not many RPGS survived that long on my screen.

    Actually there is some fun gameplay, but from the 30 hours I Played, I think it was only say, 10 hours, the other 20 hours was just pressing Z (For my fireball wand), and click on the group of minions, and watching them die.
    Is sad because if the game would not have those 20 hours, I would
    say the gameplay was ok, even Good, maybe even great, I dont
    know, bu its just too diluted in hours of pointless clicking on dead by fate minions.

    Score:
    Atmosphere: 4/10
    Interface: 9/10
    Gameplay: 4/10
    Overall: 5/10

    Reasons to play the game?:Want to experiment an A+ Interface that every RPG should have Imo. Its just fun to use it.

    Reasons not to play this game? If you want to play because a very
    good Story or Strong Gameplay reasons.
  5. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    This is the end of the review. What follows is a deep analysis of the scores and a more deep opinion on different points of the game.

    Atmosphere 4/10:

    Graphics 4/10 : They are Low resolution, and not very detailed. I disliked not having some portraits for my chars, but thats nitpicking. Your mul fighter using a GREATAXE, in the graphic of a human fighter with a shield and a sword its not great either.
    The spells are nice and are the saving point.
    They are not spectacular, but some things are nice. And graphics are cute actually, but far from, for example, Battle for Wesnoth. (which I think are very good graphics).
    Despite my low score is based on what I think of the graphics in a vacuum, I dont care much really.

    Sound 6/10: The track is kind of midi and repetitive, but it does its work, the sound of the spells sometimes seem weird but are suitable, there is nothing fancy, but its well done and fits the game.

    Story 2/10: There is a story? yes there is, I just couldn't careless for the story even if I wanted. Not only the story is bad but is terrible presented.
    Look at Darksun : SL, even the introduction explaining why you start where you start makes a huge difference. Here you are in a knighthood, who knows why you are sent in a quest that nobody seem to care.
    The initial quest builds into some story, but you dont care either.
    The whole story is poor and whatever story there is, its terrible
    presented.
    The only saving grace is that it has some nice moments, that are funny or you seem to care for that moment of 2 seconds. And some moments are nice like "you fall into a hole, you are in a trap"
    I liked those things, very minor things that save it from the score of Zero.
    The final is equally anticlimactic. You are like "oh why im here? why im fighting? wait, this is the bad guy? and what he wanted to do?" I felt like in one of those Action movies that I watch while I browse the forums, I dont care whats going on, I just peek every so much minutes to see an explosion and keep with my work. The plot is not relevant, or I dont care, same here.

    Interface 9/10:
    Visuals 9/10: Since there is no much eye candy, everything is neat and clear, you know at simple glance whats going on, and I love that.
    The fact that the terrain is a Grid makes things easier and better, a lot better.
    The low resolution specially at low screen makes things annoying and clutter the screen tough, but thats about it.
    The things are well distributed, in the little space there is, and there are keys to minimize/expand the windows.
    I would say its amazing but the low resolution is really annoying.

    Interaction 9/10: The game is full of useful shortcuts, and the system is quite good, you dont have to do a lot useless clicks, there is lack of shortcuts for Scribe scroll which is a problem.
    I found the lack of a button to cycle between the enemy files to be a problem, and a real downer. But overall, its all well done, it allows you to do most actions with just the mouse in very easy way, but also give you shortcuts (that you cant customize :() if you want to use the keyboard. Sadly sometimes it isnt obvious in the game whats the shortcut and need to read the readme.txt to know

    Information 8/10:
    The game gives you the information and the menus in a top way imo. The help file , the hyperlinks, the hero information screen, its all very good.
    The low resolution didnt allow to have feats in the same page than the rest which is kind of annoying. Also Maybe I would like to have the number of available spells in the same screen maybe? Overall I would like to reduce the amount of pages in which the information of chars is spread, which would help , specially when checking enemy sheets. You have one for inventory, one for feats, one for spells. I know it wasnt possible with this resolution, but it was a problem nonetheless.
    Having said that, the information is very well displayed inside the technological limits. And I have to name the help file with hyperlinks, its amazing.
    One think I would have loved is when you click an adverse effect, a compilation of ways to get ride of it. Sometimes you have an adverse effect, and have to check if its on the list of your spells to remove that. Which is kind of annoying, specially if you are not very fond of D&D. A list of every way to deal with that effect would have been amazing.

    One thing that also makes the interface beautiful is that you are given with the % chance of hitting, or succeeding on a spell. I love that, instead of having to do the calculations. I wish it would give all the information when there are many attacks or when its a touch spell+Saving (so there are both hit% and sucesfull spell %).
    But what it does its already better than most RPGS and I love it.
    It could be better, yes, but its already excellent.

    Gameplay:
    Mechanics 5/10:
    The game uses D&D 3.5, wich Im not very fond off,but it has its advantages. For one most RPG players are already familiar with the system (wich is good).
    The system is very random, which i dislike, and its harder for the designer to balance because of that randomness.
    Another thing I dont like of D&D is how chars level up. Since chars increase in HP more than than offensive power. At different levels the rules produce different annoying effects. AC is kind of mediocre system where you must go FULL FOR IT, or just dont care at all.
    Low level chars randomly die.
    Im not going to really dissect D&D, I think its an ok set of rules, but not really the best. Having said that, If I would make an RPG, I probably would use D&D, just because making one better system is a lot of work and people are already familiar with it. And its not that terrible
    One thing I loved is that you cant prebuff, so you dont have to waste time doing that.
    I think the thing I like least about D&D is how the initial roll of the stats its a huge difference. Reason why I like in general the buy stats with points system. This game though have some mechanics that reduce variance in the roll, and I approve that, so it kind of reduce that main problem I have with D&D. Min maxing isnt fun so tools to reduce variance are more enjoyable, even if it isnt optimal in this game.

    Balance 6/10: Its D&D wich is not terrible. I think there are some probelms with stats(Charisma, who cares). And some feats are broken (crafting in general).
    Maybe im lenient here, but since it seems this game improves over the balance of many other D&D based games, it makes me happy and I kind of see it as ok!.
    I think some buffs are not adapated to the "I cant prebuff" nerf, but there are many buffs that are powerfull enough to use in fight.
    All in all the balance is ok.

    General gameplay 4/10: The game, As I said confronts the player with 3 Challenges, a) how to build the char, b) Grinding fighting and c) Big figths. The A and C are ok, even if it doesnt amaze me but would be enough to make the game very good. But the B is what you do most of the time. And its terrible.
    A lot of the times it seems the game is designed around draining your resources, but it fails because scribe scrolls or enchant wand. Sometimes, even worse, it doesnt even try that, just make you fight a weak fight with fireplace acess.
    Its sad that It fails to drain you of resources when there is no fireplace because Enchant wand and scribe scrolls, but that is a mistake. Its more sad when it gives you pointless fights near fireplaces, because thats intended.
    There is no timer , and time has no relevance, ever, which removes some of the potential challenging/interesting mechanics.
    I think Overall the fact that you spend 2/3 of the time doing B, is what kills the gameplay of the game.
    Im sad it doesnt learn from its inspiration Darskun.
  6. Stew

    Stew Member

    Exremely informative. I could probably make a good choice just from paying the demo! lol.

    also, would you say that this game is a good replacement / upgrade from shattered lands? My brother wants to play shattered lands again, but its kind of a pain with AD&D rules and dosbox and such.
  7. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I did a review of shattered lands. Shattered lands have a Story and one well told and funny. Also there is no grinding so thats a huge plus to me.
    having said that shattered land is a mess of balance. With some classes and races stomping everthing and some spells beyond broken (mass domination at level 5 char , what?)

    I feel to have any challenge in DS: SL you need to restrict yourself from lots of things. some spells, some races, dual wielding is broken in the game.

    Knights of the chalice can be challenging SOMETIMES even by powergaming.

    If you want entertaining dialgue and dont care much about battles. And light to right click and things dying I guess Darksun is better. You can even make darksun challenging if you restrict the number of rests somehow (I used to try to beat the game without using more than X number of rests, but i find tracking the rests to be annoying, so I think not using a rest place more than once per game its better, free healing clerics count as a rest.)
    And if you dont use Prebuffing, Mass dominate, Half giants, multiclass or dual wielding. (all that is broken beyond control in Darksun) and you actually roll the dice in character creating instead of manually modify stats.

    If you are not the kind of guy that wants a challenge anyway then dont worry. And I think Darksun is better.

    Now if you want a challenge but dont want to keep track of anything or limit yourself, I think KOTC is better. (even If I think crafting, and specially scribing scrolls is broken and wiith infinite rests, most of the game is not challenging.)

    So thats what I can say, so if KOTC can replace Darksun its up to what the player expect or want from the game.
  8. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    In case Someone is interested in doing it too , im playing the game with the following rules.

    -Ironman mode
    -1 use per campfire (Write down in a notepad or somewhere everytime you use a campfire as to not reuse it later)
    -No crafting/Forge/Scribing scrolls (Which means no share spells)
    -Can Only use NPC clerics to remove permanent effects.
    -Zero Resets in Character creation.
    -Default Gameplay based settings (except flee can fail)*

    *Gameplay based settings are the last 6 options in the setting menu, it should look like:
    NO/NO/0/NO/NO/YES

    This has been my experience with this rules so far:
    Ironman lesson dont change resolution while you are recording with fraps, It crashes the game and you lose the ironman run!.
    My first antempt of 2 Wizards and 2 clerics ended like that early on.

    I did another run and My party died fast! I did 2 clerics and 2 wizards (I think the best team is 3 clerics and 1 wizard though), and its was so harsh because Wizards are SO BAD before they even get to level 5. I lost against the lizards in corinth (the first town). I think 3 clerics and 1 wizard is SLIGHTLY worse late, and a lot better early, making it a better choice, But I think 2 wizards may be more fun. I will try again with 2 wizards and if it fails I will do a final run with 3 clerics.
  9. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    In the few runs i did , I lost because I did mistakes, many , when i do few mistakes and still lose, I would agree with you its too hard.

    This is my runs so far, copypasted from rpg codex

    Im having a lot fo fun trying , because every fight is interesting now. I agree that just 1 use of campfire is too hard for someone that do not know the game.

    But I would recommend to anyone that play the game for first time (and I wished I did) is to play with this rules but with 3 uses per campfire.

    Maybe with 50% or even max hp tough.

    I think this way the game fun multiplies. In gameplay I would have given the game a 7 or 8, if this would have been the default rules.
  10. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

  11. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I just want to remind people about this game because im playing it AGAIN now. I think this game will get the prize of best RPG ever on my book. Which will be surprising, but it's so fun to rerun once you create a LONG list of rules.
  12. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    This thread makes me want to make an RPG just for Waterd. Good stuff though, I gotta take the time to read more about your challenge.
  13. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    The following was the last set of rules I completed the game with.

    Rules:
    Ironman run
    Char creation: No Reroll but allowed to cancel to go back and change other things. Chars should be rerolled if they have 73 points or less before the last reroll or 85+ after the final reroll.
    1 use per campfire
    No crafting Whatsoever, (So no share spells)
    Default Gameplay based settings (except , no world encounters or monster respawn.)
    NPC clerics healing can only be used on Chars with Permanent negative effects.
    Can only buy 1 scroll of each infinite stack NPC clerics have (if 1 of those scrolls is bought, we have to buy 1 scroll of each infinite statck of that NPC cleric) from the following spells:
    Cure light wounds, Cure moderate wounds, Cure Serious wounds.
    Can't sell non-gem items whose cost is less than 1k.


    ***
    I'm sorry for the different colors, I can't find what's the default color up there.
    Anyway I'm trying to find what can I change of the rules to create a different experience for me than the last time. I dislike the idea of being allowed to buy scrolls. But without buying scrolls or crafting. I think the game is impossible in ironman.
    Another idea is to actually make it easier , but with only 1 cleric. But that seems too hard too. The only reason these clerics are possible is because clerics are too strong.
  14. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

  15. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

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